Getting Happy... when you wish you were dead
Foreword by Jack Canfield
The story you’re about to read is compelling. Perhaps that is because it is also true.
Getting Happy ...when you wish you were dead tells Conrad Hall’s life story in the context of a personal tragedy. It is the story of a man losing two families. In his early history, Conrad loses the family into which he was born because he was unexpected and unwanted. In his recent history, he loses the family into which he married hoping to replace what he once lost.
Conrad shines a light into the darkness felt by those who feel disconnected and ineffective as he weaves both stories together in the space of 143 days. When he finds himself disconnected from his new family, Conrad reconnects by learning to lean upon the charity of strangers. He builds back his sense of being effective by working on writing this very story; although it started out in a very different form from what you’re about to read.
The story you are about to read took nine years for Conrad to write. The effort of working through the loss of two families, combined with the hard work of coming to terms with himself, turned the writing of this story into a process of deep healing and growth.
It is definitely a terrible thing to grow up without the love of your parents. And no matter how much healing you do, there is always an emotional experience missing from your life. It’s no secret that the love and support of family is a huge boost to building a strong, positive self-image. And growing up without that love and support makes building a strong, positive self-image harder, but as you’ll see from reading Conrad’s story, it is far from impossible.
Getting Happy ...when you wish you were dead shows us that even the darkest journey, as a child or an adult, can be within our control. Your level of functioning effectiveness might be as low as simply getting out of bed and accepting meals from others, and your greatest connection in a day might be a briefly uplifting conversation with a cashier. Yet it is you making those choices, rather than staying in bed and not reaching out that makes the difference. It is you refusing to accept the circumstances you are experiencing and step by small step reaching instead for the life and the happiness you want to have.
This is what Getting Happy ...when you wish you were dead is all about. Conrad’s insistence that the life and happiness he sees other people enjoying can be his, too, despite feeling such pain of rejection that many times death seemed the only way to stop that pain. It is the simple act of choosing to believe at a deep soul level that you are just as worthwhile and valuable as everyone else in the world. Ultimately. it all comes down to choice. You can choose to focus on being a victim, or you can choose to focus on making yourself happy.
After I read the manuscript for this book, Conrad shared with me that he made two rounds of edits deliberately aimed at removing all the language of blaming from his story. He knows that blaming temporarily feels good. It seems to absolve us of any responsibility. But he also knows it pulls your focus to what other people did in the past instead of keeping you centered on what you can do to forgive, release, and act to become whole again in the present.
I was delighted to learn that, inspired by the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Conrad is planning to develop a series of books called the Getting Happy series. His intention is to write a series of books that helps people successfully navigate through their life events so they can consistently make their way toward getting and staying happy.
As you are about to discover in this very compelling first book in this series, if there’s one thing Conrad knows, it’s how to weather a storm and come through intact even if a little tattered. May his story give you the inspiration, guidance and courage to never give up and come through your own, knowing that happiness really is attainable.
I am excited that you are about to let Conrad Hall take you on this deeply moving journey to getting happy.
Enjoy the ride!
— Jack Canfield, Coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and The Success Principles™: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be